"That's unbelievable" - Carlos Alcaraz elated as he joins Rafael Nadal, coach Juan Carlos Ferrero & other Spaniards in elite list with French Open win

Rafael Nadal (L), Carlos Alcaraz (C) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (R)
Rafael Nadal (L), Carlos Alcaraz (C) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (R)

Carlos Alcaraz talked at length about his emotions after winning the 2024 French Open. The Spaniard shared his happiness at joining the elite list of champions, including Rafael Nadal and Juan Carlos Ferrero, who have triumphed at Roland Garros.

Alcaraz got past Alexander Zverev in what was an exhausting French Open final on Sunday. The Spaniard had a good start, winning the first set 6-2, but Zverev proved to be a difficult opponent, leading 2-1 at the end of the third set. Alcaraz then proved his resilience, winning the fourth set 6-1 and decisively claiming the fifth set 6-2.

The Spaniard had entered Roland Garros after a month of rehab for an arm injury sustained during the Madrid Open. Demonstrating remarkable determination, he returned stronger than ever to claim the biggest title on the surface he grew up playing on in his hometown, Murcia.

With the victory, Alcaraz became the youngest man to win Major titles on all three surfaces.

Following his victory, the 21-year-old was asked in his post-match press conference to compare his first Roland Garros victory to his first wins at the US Open and Wimbledon.

"I mean it's a different tournament, different aura. But I'm going to say same feeling. Winning a Grand Slam is so special, winning your first three in every Grand Slam is always super special," Alcaraz said in response. [00:23]

He further expressed pride in joining the list of Spanish players (Rafael Nadal and his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero) who have won at Roland Garros. He described it as "unbelievable" and recalled how he has aspired to be in this position since he began playing tennis at a young age.

"But here in Roland Garros, knowing that all the tennis, all the Spanish player who have won this tournament and be able to put my name on that amazing list is something unbelievable, something that I dreamed about, being in this position, since I started playing tennis, since I was five-six years old. So it's a great feeling."

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Apart from Nadal and Ferrero, Spaniards such as Sergi Bruguera, Albert Costa and Carlos Moya are among the players who have won the French Open in the Open Era.


Carlos Alcaraz says winning the 2024 French Open is his proudest achievement

Carlos Alcaraz also said he is more proud of winning the 2024 French Open than any of his other career achievements.

2023 US Open - Day 2
2023 US Open - Day 2

When asked about his three Major titles in the post-match press conference, the Spaniard highlighted his first two victories, the US Open and Wimbledon, saying that both the tournaments had their own significance. Alcaraz went on to say, however, that recovering from an arm injury and winning a Major made Roland Garros his proudest achievement.

"I mean obviously the US Open when I reached for the first time, the number one something that I dreamed since I started playing tennis, getting my first Grand Slam, so it's pretty special. But honestly the way that I won Wimbledon beating Novak Djokovic in five sets it's been a great achievement for me," Alcaraz said.
"And right now lifting the Roland Garros trophy knowing everything that I've been through the last month with the injuries and all that stuff. I don't know probably this one is the moment that I really (am) proud about myself because everything that I've done the last month just to be ready for this tournament with my team. A lot of talks with them, you know if I have to practice, if I can't practice, all that discuss with them, it's been really difficult for me honestly. So I'm gonna say this one is the most that I'm proud about myself," he added. [10:30]

Alacaraz struggled to find his best form in the early part of the season. His only final came at the Indian Wells Masters, where he defeated Daniil Medvedev. Furthermore, he was sidelined for the majority of the clay court swing due to a right arm injury; Alcaraz missed the Barcelona Open after withdrawing from the Monte Carlo Masters.

His arm affected him again during the Madrid Open, where he lost to Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals. But despite the lack of preparation for the French Open, Carlos Alcaraz ended up winning the tournament, becoming the second youngest player in the Open Era to win three Men's singles Major titles.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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